Plat, Sir Hugh

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

Plat, Sir Hugh (1552–1608), was an Elizabethan and Jacobean gentleman who lived in London and wrote on many scientific and culinary topics. Almost half of his book for women, Delightes for Ladies, published in 1600, is devoted to candying and preserving. The origins of most of the recipes are traceable in his surviving manuscripts. Not all are Plat’s own recipes; a third are from a manuscript he acquired, probably dating from the 1550s, including an extended passage that covers the whole process of comfit making, long regarded by historians as written by Plat. See comfit. Plat’s fascination with technology is reflected in many of his recipes. He revels in the complexity of sugar-plate making, describing how to mold sugar, and marzipan, into intricate shapes. See marzipan and sugar sculptures. He also liked “conceits,” created by shaping marzipan to resemble cooked rabbits and birds: “a [sugar] banquet may bee presented in the forme of a supper.” Living flowers might be candied in a garden “so you may bid your friends after dinner to a growing banquet.”